Photos of an American hunter posing with the dead body of a “rare” black giraffe she had just killed during a hunt in South Africa have sparked outrage, USA Today has reported.
The pictures emerged after they were posted on Twitter by the South Africa-based AfricLand Post website. Accompanying the post, which shows two pictures of Tess Thompson Talley of Kentucky, were the words: “White american savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe courtesy of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share”.
The news sparked outrage from animal lovers and celebrities. Comedian, actor and animal activist Ricky Gervais, tweeted that “Giraffes are now on the ‘red list’ of endangerment due to a 40% decline over the last 25 years. They could become extinct. Gone forever.”
And actress Debra Messing of “Will and Grace” said: “Tess Thompson Talley from Nippa, Kentucky is a disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer,” she raged.
The photos were from a hunting trip Thompson Talley took in June 2017. “Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today!” she said in a Facebook post, apparently now deleted. “Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile. I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4,000 lbs and was blessed to be able to get 2,000 lbs of meat from him.”
Talley defended her kill in an email to Fox News saying that the giraffe she hunted was the South African sub-species of giraffe, the numbers of which actually increasing due, in part, to hunters and conservation efforts paid for in large part by big game hunting, USA Today added.
“The breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old. Giraffes get darker with age,” she wrote.
Trophy hunting is a legal practice in a number of African countries, Fox reported, including South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In South Africa, where animals such as buffalo, elephants, and lion are often targeted, trophy hunting is a $2 billion-per-year industry.